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NCJ Number: 136210 Find in a Library
Title: Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Justice in Canada (From Criminology: A Reader's Guide, P 258-272, 1991, Jane Gladstone, Richard Ericson, et al, eds. -- See NCJ-136200)
Author(s): W G West
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: University of Toronto
Toronto, Canada
Sale Source: University of Toronto
Centre of Criminology
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This review of research on juvenile delinquency and juvenile justice in Canada addresses societal images of delinquency, the legal framework for the management of juvenile problem behaviors, and social knowledge and theories of delinquency.
Abstract: Images of morality and delinquency in popular culture have influenced laws designed to regulate the behavior of juveniles. Such laws have not only prohibited traditional crimes such as theft, but have proscribed behaviors that are not crimes if committed by adults. Truancy, sexual promiscuity, and tobacco smoking are examples of many acts which have been legal infractions only for youth. The 1908 Canadian Juvenile Delinquents Act formally established the legal category of juvenile delinquency and established juvenile courts and juvenile probation. This legislation was characterized by definitional vagueness, lack of due process for juveniles, juvenile status offenses (such as truancy), and wide discretionary dispositional powers. The latter made juveniles vulnerable to judicial and administrative arbitrariness. The new Canadian Young Offenders Act (1984) has formally eliminated all status offenses from the Federal code and confined delinquency to acts prohibited in the Federal Criminal Code. The act encourages screening or diversion procedures designed to avoid formal court and legal processing. Community alternatives to institutionalization are emphasized. Empirical criminological research has offered a number of theories of delinquency, including anomie theory, control theory, interactionist (labeling) theory, and combinations of these theories; however, no theory is sufficient to explain or encompass all the available facts on juvenile behavior or to provide practical solutions to delinquency problems. 54-item annotated reading list
Main Term(s): Juvenile codes
Index Term(s): Age discrimination; Canada; Juvenile court procedures
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